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Smile Giveaway

January 26th, 2010 (08:35 am)

Current Mood: thankful
Current Song: Get Back by Demi Lovato

In honor of the release of the graphic novel Smile by Raina Telgemeier, I've got a giveaway for you!

What has been your most own embarrassing experience at the dentist's office? Share your story in words, in pictures, or in video, and you could win a copy of SMILE! We will accept true stories as well as fiction, with one winner in each category, so please make sure mark your entry as non-fiction (it really happened to you) or fiction (you totally made it up!) Here's the scoop:

WORDS: 500 words or less, in any style or tense you choose.
PICTURES: A one- to two-page spread. It can be one image, multiple images, or multiple panels, like a comic book, but please limit it to a maximum of two pages. Use your pens, pencils, pastels, paints, PhotoShop - get creative!
VIDEO: Keep it under two minutes in length. Upload it to a site where the judges can see it, like YouTube or Vimeo.

CONTENT: All submissions should be appropriate for all ages. Keep it G-rated.

SUBMISSIONS: You must leave a comment on this post with your name, your email address, and your submission (full text, all images, or embedded video) OR a link to your file. If you have difficulty leaving a comment, email your submission to littlewillow@slayground.net

ELIGIBILITY: All ages may enter. Winners must provide a U.S. mailing address where the book will be shipped.

DEADLINE: All submissions must be received by 11:59 PM PST on February 28th, 2010.
Entries will be judged by Raina Telgemeier and Little Willow.
One winner will be selected per category.
Winners will be announced in March 2010.

The winners have been selected!

After carefully reviewing all of the submissions, Raina and Little Willow have selected two winners. (Note: All of our entries were non-fiction. Thus, we selected two non-fiction winners, rather than one fiction and one non-fiction.) It was very hard to narrow down the field, as all of the entries made us smile and/or laugh and/or wince sympathetically.

Without any further ado, the winners are . . .

Congratulations! Please check your email and respond ASAP so that you may collect your prize: a copy of SMILE by Raina Telgemeier!

Honorable mention:

Many thanks to all of our entrants for sharing their dental dramas with us. :)

About the Book
Raina just wants to be a normal sixth grader. But one night after Girl Scouts she trips and falls, severely injuring her two front teeth, and what follows is a long and frustrating journey with on-again, off-again braces, surgery, embarrassing headgear, and even a retainer with fake teeth attached. And on top of all that, there's still more to deal with: a major earthquake, boy confusion, and friends who turn out to be not so friendly. This coming-of-age true story is sure to resonate with anyone who has ever been in middle school, and especially those who have ever had a bit of their own dental drama.

Sneak a peek at Smile! Click here to preview some pages from the book, or click below to watch the trailer!

About the Author
Raina Telgemeier grew up in San Francisco, but made her way to New York City when she was 22 to attend the School of Visual Arts as an Illustration and Cartooning student. She received her BFA in 2002, and has worked as a freelance artist ever since. Her comics have been nominated for numerous awards, including the Eisner, Ignatz, Cybil, and Web Cartoonists' Choice awards. Raina lives in Queens, NY, with her husband, Dave Roman.

Related Posts:
What Makes You Smile?
The Baby-Sitters Club Graphix by Ann M. Martin and Raina Telgemeier
Interview: Raina Telgemeier

Many thanks to Whitney Matheson from USA TODAY's Pop Candy blog for posting about the Smile giveaway. (link)


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Posted by: kathyerskine (kathyerskine)
Posted at: January 22nd, 2010 01:15 pm (UTC)
Nonfiction Embarrassing Dental Experience

When I had my wisdom teeth out (which obviously let me somewhat stupid), I did not react well to the anesthesia. I was left in a small private room strapped to a gurney. When I came to, I was convinced I was in a Nazi concentration camp (?!), about to be interrogated. Panicked, I eventually managed to undo the Velcro straps and tumble off the gurney. (All the while, the Mission Impossible theme music was playing in my head.) The door to my room was ajar and I crawled into a long hallway with a door at the end that I was sure was my only escape. A nurse (obviously a Nazi) saw me, yelled something (probably "Heil, Hitler!") and came after me. I crawled/stumbled/somehow got to the door at the end of the hall and desperately tried to turn the knob. Unfortunately, I had turned into a dog with no opposable thumbs and even incessant slapping of the knob, accompanied by, “Oh, please, oh, please, oh, please,” would not open the door. The nurse caught up with me, grabbed me from behind, and I screamed, “No, don’t kill me!” The dentist came out of his room, whereupon I really started screaming because he wore a white coat and had a syringe in his hand. By this time there was a commotion in the waiting room and the receptionist and a crowd of rather concerned looking individuals flooded the hallway. At that point, the staff was more than happy to let me go and I was so grateful to have been rescued.

I think that experience alone should’ve told me I was a writer.

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: January 22nd, 2010 03:39 pm (UTC)
Re: Nonfiction Embarrassing Dental Experience

Thank you for entering! Please leave your email address so you may be considered for the contest.

Posted by: kathyerskine (kathyerskine)
Posted at: January 22nd, 2010 03:40 pm (UTC)
Re: Nonfiction Embarrassing Dental Experience

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: January 22nd, 2010 03:41 pm (UTC)
Re: Nonfiction Embarrassing Dental Experience

(Deleted comment)
Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: January 25th, 2010 11:33 pm (UTC)

Oh, you are entered! :)

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: January 29th, 2010 07:44 pm (UTC)

I was one of the first kids to get braces in my 8th grade class and for a quick minute I felt supercool. Then I had them tightened. And it hurt. Oh well, I told myself, pain is beauty, beauty is pain, right? Everyone was curious about them, wanted their own, was jealous of my neon pink rubber bands. Soon they got braces and the novelty wore off, but as the first person to have had them I was also the first person to have them taken off. Now my teeth- straight and white- were what people envied as they endured their own beauty pain. And I'm pretty sure I did some serious bragging.

Flash forward to junior year. Braces are out. No one wants them. No one has them.

Except me. Again. What? What! Apparently, the orthodontist had taken them off a few months too early and now as I sat in the medieval chair, paper apron covered in drool, he informed me that I would have to have my braces put back on. I screamed. I cried. I stood up and tried to run out the door. But my mother blocked my path and pushed me back to the chair. Nothing to brag about now.

-Elizabeth (liznwyrk@gmail.com)

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: January 30th, 2010 06:29 am (UTC)
Re: Braces!

Hi Elizabeth! Thank you for sharing your story. If you are named a winner, you will be contacted directly. :)

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: February 22nd, 2010 06:14 pm (UTC)
Re: Braces!

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: February 22nd, 2010 06:15 pm (UTC)
Re: Braces!

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: February 14th, 2010 05:10 pm (UTC)

Here are two entries that Arielle emailed to me:


My neighbor-friends and I all went to the same orthodontist. This orthodontist had an assistant named Hector that none of us really liked. My old neighbor, Jonny, spread the rumor that one day, while I was sitting in the chair, Hector had drooled into my mouth. My neighbors all believed this, and could constantly giggle when they saw me. I had no idea what was going on until one of them finally asked if it was true, and of course I said it wasn't but Jonny stuck to that story for a long time.


When I first got braces, I wasn't used to how to brush effectively with them and so my gums were pretty swollen. My first time going to my dentist with them, I was a little ashamed of this and it was only made worse when I got a very stern lecture from the dental assistant on how I was clearly apathetic about my teeth. Nervous about what the dentist would say, I immediately began trying to come up with a good reason for why my gums were like that. When he sat down the first thing he said was "When I last saw you, you didn't have those red lines on your teeth!" Of course I assumed that by "red lines" he meant the red lines of my swollen gums, so I immediately launched into a red faced several minute long explanation about it until he interrupted me and said "Arielle, don't worry I was just referring to the red color you chose for your braces..." I don't think he has ever forgotten this.


Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: February 18th, 2010 06:21 pm (UTC)
Dentist the Menace: A Non-Fiction Tale of Woe

Kristy Locklin

After a long, insurance-less absence, I’m back in the dreaded dentist’s chair listening to the Muzak version of “That’s What Friends Are For.”

The masked woman looming above me is definitely not my friend. She is the devil in blue scrubs.

“Are you flossing daily?” she asks, inspecting my mouth with a tiny mirror.

“Uh (choke) huh,” I lie, gagging on the instrument.

She raises a skeptical eyebrow and turns to her tray of stainless steel torture devices. Like Freddy Krueger with a DMD degree, she proceeds to hack at my gums until they bleed. Apparently, inadequate dental hygiene is something this woman takes personally.

Each time I wince, creases form around Dr. Krueger’s eyes. She is either grimacing in sympathy or grinning with sadomasochistic delight.

She hands me a cup and instructs me to rise. I swish the water around in my mouth and spit a red stream into the bowl next to my chair. I am shocked by the amount of blood. Suddenly, my head feels heavy, as if it’s one of those monolithic noggins on Easter Island. The room begins to spin.

By humming the aforementioned Dionne Warwick tune, I manage to stay conscious during my fluoride treatment.

When my teeth are clean and I’ve lost at least two pints of blood, Dr. Krueger removes her mask and latex gloves. To my surprise, she does not have fangs or finger-knives.

“Don’t forget to floss,” she says, wagging a complimentary toothbrush in my direction.

Fearful of opening my mouth and spewing forth a crimson goodbye, I nod my head and totter out the door.

It’s the middle of evening rush hour and I have to fight my way through throngs of people before reaching my apartment. I check my mailbox and make small talk with the neighbors, including the hot guy in 708. Once I’m home, I sigh with relief and snuggle my cat. My kiss leaves a blood stain on his furry head.

Horrified, I run to the bathroom mirror. I don’t recognize the face staring back at me because it’s COVERED IN BLOOD! And not just a small, Dracula-esque drop at the corner of my mouth, but big, red streaks across both cheeks and a sanguine soul patch on my chin.

I look like Gene Simmons after a KISS concert!

Cursing Dr. Krueger, I splash warm water on my face, take a deep breath and – remembering Dionne Warwick’s advice – keep smiling, keep shining.

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: February 19th, 2010 03:10 am (UTC)
Re: Dentist the Menace: A Non-Fiction Tale of Woe

Hi Kristy! Thank you for entering the Smile giveaway.

Posted by: blackteensread2.blogspot.com (blackteensread2.blogspot.com)
Posted at: February 19th, 2010 03:27 am (UTC)

I hope I'm entering this right (I always mess up in the comments section of LiveJournal)

I hate going to the dentist, I freak out everytime I have to go. The worst part besides the pain is that my eyes are sensitive to light so when I'm in the chair, my eyes won't stop watering so it seems like I'm always crying because I'm in pain! The dentist will either a)ignore me or b) stop (and feign) concern and I will then explain that I'm not really crying, my eyes are just super sensitvie (it's true! Stop rolling your eyes, haha). I'm never believed, they just pat my hand sympathetically and allow me to keep 'crying' (no tissues or anything). Thereby, I'm regulated to being known as a teenager who cries even when she's only getting a check-up (I used to be known as the kid who threw up after every cleaning-yup that was me)

willbprez (at) aol (dot)com

Thanks for this opportunity Little Willow, Raina and Scholastic!

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: February 19th, 2010 03:32 am (UTC)

Hi WillBPrez! Yes, indeed, your comment worked, and your entry has been noted. :) Thanks!

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: February 19th, 2010 05:42 pm (UTC)
Embarassing teeth story

My teeth are a never-ending story.

I fell down a flight of stairs when I was little, knocking out my two front baby teeth. One grew in fine, the other grew up. Had to have painful and long oral surgery at age 8 to get that front tooth down where it belonged. I was awarded for this by receiving braces.
I had braces.
I had to wear the headgear.
I had to put the wax on my braces to protect my gums.
I had a retainer.
I've had cavities and root canals. I've broken teeth (I will never eat Grape Nuts again) and broken fillings. I have never smoked and floss nightly (I really do!) and yet my husband, the ex-smoker who went 10+ years between dental visits, has never had a cavity.

That's a very long introduction to my embarrassing story. I had a temporary cap on one of my teeth. It fell off on a Saturday,, so I had to go the weekend without it. I was arguing with my kids (ages 7 and 9 at the time) about brushing their teeth better and said "Do you want this to happen to you?" and pulled out the temporary cap. They both screamed in horror and brushed their teeth better than any child in history. I went to bed that night thinking I was a shoo-in for mother of the year.

Fast-forward a few days and I'm at the kids' school, picking them up from their after-school program. Some back story: We live in a very up and up small town, near a major university and research hospital. My husband and I are not in the same pay scale as most of the parents at our kids' school.

Anyway, I walk in the room and a group of kids come running up to me.

"Is it true you can pull out your teeth? SHOW US! SHOW US!"

All the other parents look at me like I was the trashiest person they had ever seen. I wanted to say I had more money in my teeth than they spent on their cars, but that seemed like the wrong way to behave in front of children.

-- Merrie

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: February 19th, 2010 05:43 pm (UTC)
Re: Embarassing teeth story

Thanks for sharing your story, Merrie! :)

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: February 20th, 2010 03:54 am (UTC)
my submission...


by Amelia Altavena, aaltavena@gmail.com

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: February 20th, 2010 04:00 am (UTC)
Re: my submission...

Nice to meet you, Amelia! Thank you for entering.

Posted by: cp33 (cp33)
Posted at: February 21st, 2010 02:46 pm (UTC)
Misadventures at the Dentist

Oh I've made many a trip to the dentist and probably embarassed myself a few times but the worst had to have been my freshman year in college. At that point I was still on my dad's insurance and he would always schedule my annual cleaning smack dab in the middle of Fiesta Week in San Antonio.

After a night filled with drinking and debauchery I came home around 3AM and thought about my dentist appointment at 9AM the next day. I figured I'd prep myself early so I stayed up till till like 4 flossing, brushing and sloshing assorted mouthwash flavors till my mouth was as clean as whistle.

When I got up at 8:45 the next morning I figured I'd done so much the night before I could just skip right over to the dentist without brushing that day. When I settled into the reclining chair, I started to notice the dental hygienist wincing through her face mask. I knew something was up when she backed away from my mouth and set her tools down.

"Christian how often are you brushing?" she said. "I'm getting a very strong odor here, even through my mask." I explained that I was brushing regularly but she was'nt buying it. She began to give me a lecture on self hygiene like I've never had before. In all my 18 years not even my mom had ripped me like this lady. It seemingly went on and on and covered a range of topics far beyond my mouth.

At that point I didn't even want to go into my reasoning behind not brushing that morning. After sloshing some mouthwash around for her my cleaning continued and I learned some valuable lessons on self grooming that I'll never forget.

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: February 21st, 2010 07:12 pm (UTC)
Re: Misadventures at the Dentist

Thanks for entering!

Posted by: http://www.google.com/profiles/astragaliusa (ext_225739)
Posted at: February 22nd, 2010 06:47 am (UTC)
A dodgy dentist

I needed to have two teeth extracted to straighten out the remainder on my lower jaw, but the dentist dealing with me didn't allow the Novocaine to work its magic before taking out the first tooth. Understandably, I screamed. Loudly. So perhaps it wasn’t too surprising that after I was given the injection for the second extraction, I told the woman I wasn’t going to have the work done.

It wasn’t until I got home that the anaesthetic kicked in – just in time for my mother to ask me if I would go to the Post Office for her to get a first-class stamp! So my trip was delayed for about five minutes while I tried to say “I’d like to buy a first-class stamp” without either sounding like I was on day-release from the local mental ward, or leaving my chin glistening with drool...

(For the sake of posterity and my tattered reputation, I managed it without the cashier falling off their seat with laughter.)

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: February 22nd, 2010 06:55 am (UTC)
Re: A dodgy dentist

Thanks for entering!

Posted by: Melissa, starry-eyed soy-lovin' Expatriated Zulu (oddharmonic)
Posted at: February 26th, 2010 06:32 am (UTC)

I went several years without seeing a dentist for various reasons. When I started going again, I had an abscessed molar. (When it drained a few days later, it looked like a bad horror movie.) The dentist took a long look at my crumbling teeth and asked me if I ever used drugs. I replied no.

He poked at my teeth with an instrument, looked some more, and asked again. Still no.

He then went to the waiting room and asked my husband if I've used drugs. My husband laughed so hard it could probably be heard outside.

The dentist hasn't asked again.

(He's still my regular dentist -- and my daughter's.)

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: February 26th, 2010 06:55 am (UTC)

Thanks for sharing your story! :)

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: February 26th, 2010 03:23 pm (UTC)
Dental Blunder

I have a really horrible gag reflex and always dread getting my teeth x-rayed—my gag reflex kicks in and I have a hard time keeping still. The worst time was when I went to a new dentist for the first time and 3 dental assistants had to physically hold me down—2 had me by the shoulders and 1 held my head still. I was 28 at the time.

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: February 26th, 2010 03:33 pm (UTC)
Re: Dental Blunder

Thanks for entering, Sarah!

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: February 26th, 2010 04:24 pm (UTC)

When I first got braces, the dentist went on for quite some time and quite some insistence about how I couldn't have ANY sweets at all for a month or two while the bonding agent had completely hardened. Being an obedient kid with a mother who didn't catch his ulterior motives, I complied. My next appointment was just before Thanksgiving and the dentist said that I should be able to partake of some of the deserts by then. Thanksgiving came, and my family went over to a relative's house for dinner. After a very filling meal of turkey, mashed potatoes, etc. -- and an eternity of not having any sweets at all (I missed Halloween that year, dang it!) -- I gorged on pumpkin pie, "Death by Chocolate" cake, pecan pie, more pumpkin pie, more cake... I found myself throwing up in the bathroom inside of an hour, and I had to come back down to the dinner table, where the adults were still eating, and ask for assistance to clean up the mess.

Sean Kleefeld

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: February 26th, 2010 04:29 pm (UTC)
Re: Thanksgiving

Thanks for entering!

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: February 27th, 2010 02:02 am (UTC)
Caitlin's entry

Hi, I don't know how to upload a comment, so I am emailing you, this experience actully happened to me. My most embrassing experience was not at the dentist but the orthodonist, actully the whole experience was embrassing. I was in fifth grade, and getting my braces, nobody in my family had crooked teeth, my mother did get braces and head gear. That morning, I got up, my mom took me to the orothdonist that morning. I neverously sat in the lobby, "It won't hurt, right I fretted", she smiled at me, but a person came out with braces, and said that it hurt, I ran to the door, "I don't want to get them" I yelled, everyone was watching me, I ran out the door and nearly left the parking lot, but my mother caught me and pushed me back in, "Your getting them on" she yelled, everyone still looking at me, I blushed. It was my turn, at first getting them on wasen't so bad, but the orthodonist relized my wires were to small, so he had to get the correct size, it was embrassing me sitting there and having wires sticking out of my mouth and people staring at me, finally he got them on, but I was allegeric to something and my cheeks puffed up like a chickmunk . Next, to make matters worse, I had to go to school, and when I arrived I saw my best friend, me looking like a swollen person to make matters worse when I talk to her, I sounded funny, and had a lisp ! after a few days, I no longer looked like chickmunk, and a few days later, I went to girl scouts and showed off my tin grin, every one thought it was so cool and wanted braces.

- Caitlin (girlfriend.murray@comcast.net)

Posted by: Nemu ish Nemu! (kyubikitsy)
Posted at: February 28th, 2010 07:20 am (UTC)

I was going to illustrate this, but I'm on deadline right now and can't put my best foot forward. T_T;;

Anyhoo, here's the written story~

Do you remember those pureed fruit sheets stuck to plastic sheets? I used to love those as a kid (and still do) and would have my parents get them as our snack food when we were dropped off at my grandparent's house for summer vacation days and weekends.

Those fruit sheets were often encased in those paper covered, foil-lined sealed wrappers that were insanely hard to open. My dad was notorious for using this teeth to rip them open. Since my fingers weren't doing the trick, I tried using my teeth.

I bit down, pulled hard. Nothing. Bit down harder, pull straight down. Nothing.

Tried one more time--- POP! The sound of stuff dropping on the linoleum kitchen floor.

I looked down, the wrapper was still sealed. Puzzled, I looked around and my grandfather came into the kitchen to see what was going on. He took one look at me and laughed.

I pulled my 2 front teeth out -- prematurely.

I think the teeth were eventually found, and I ended up visiting the dentist shortly after who inserted a wire around my upper gum-line to make sure my teeth would grow in properly.

They didn't... and I eventually needed braces... but that's a different story...

Ever since then, I've used scissors to open my packages and wrappers. Just in case.

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: March 1st, 2010 03:47 am (UTC)

Thanks for entering!
If you do illustrate your story before the deadline - 11:59 PM PST tonight, February 28th, 2010 - you may add that link to your comment, as long as you beat the clock and make the deadline. :)

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